Sporting events around the world have been postponed or cancelled as coronavirus continues to spread.
Saturday’s Six Nations rugby match between Ireland and France has been postponed until further notice, France’s sports minister Roxana Maracineau confirmed on Monday afternoon.
The match will now take place on October 31 instead, Sky News understands. Meanwhile Wales’ match against Scotland is still due to take place.
England and Italy’s match was revealed to be postponed last week after the number of coronavirus cases in Italy rose dramatically.
Here is a list of some of the major sporting events that have been cancelled or closed off to the public in the wake of the virus so far.
Indian Wells tennis tournament, 9 March
The California tournament was called off hours before the qualifying matches were due to start after a case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Coachella Valley.
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Organisers said they wanted to protect the safety of players and attendees.
They added that the decision was made on the “the guidance of medical professionals, the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), and State of California”.
You probably all heard the news. Indian Wells cancelled. We are here and still deciding what’s next. So sad for all that is happening around the world with this situation. Hopefully soon solutions from the authorities. Stay all well and safe.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) March 9, 2020
The NP Paribas Open tournament is commonly referred to as the “fifth slam” because of its stature. This year’s field included Rafa Nadal, world number one Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams among other top players.
Nadal tweeted his sadness over the rise in COVID-19 cases and urged fans to “stay well and safe”.
Tournament director Tommy Haas said: “We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance.
“We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options.”
Paris St Germain vs Borussia Dortmund, 11 March
Paris St Germain has confirmed its match against Borussia Dortmund on 11 March will be held behind closed doors due to COVID-19.
In a statement published on its website, the team said the decision about the Champions League game at its home ground, Le Parc des Princes, follows advice from the Parisian police.
It said: “Paris Saint-Germain notes the decision of the Paris Prefecture de Police to hold the Paris Saint-Germain v Borussia Dortmund match on Wednesday 11 March behind closed doors.
“In this context, the club remains fully mobilised to organise the match in the best possible conditions.”PSG season ticket holders and supporters who bought their tickets on billetterie.psg.fr and ticketplace.psg.fr will be informed very soon of the terms and conditions proposed by Paris Saint-Germain.”The club would like to thank all supporters for their understanding and continued support.”
Borussia Dortmund, who lead 2-1 from the first leg, tweeted it “hurts their soul” to have to play the match without their fans.
French sports journalist Yohan Roblin also started that all first and second division matches in France will have crowds capped at 1,000 spectators until 15 April.
Tokyo Olympics lighting ceremony, 12 March
Greece’s Olympic Committee says spectators will be excluded from both the dress rehearsal on Wednesday and the ceremony on Thursday.
It is the first time in more than 35 years the historic ceremony, which takes place at Greece’s historic site in Olympia, will take place without an audience.
FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Asia – March and June
FIFA have postponed all World Cup Qualifiers in Asia during the forthcoming international breaks in March and June.
In a statement on its website on Monday, the governing body for football said: “Matches originally scheduled to take place during the international window of 23 to 31 March 2020 and 1 to 9 June 2020 are postponed to later dates.”
It added there was scope for Asia’s member associations to still play matches during the international breaks in March or June.
However, this depends on “the safety of all individuals involved meeting the required standards, that the member associations due to play each other mutually agree” and subject to approval from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
The qualifiers for the men’s and women’s Olympic football tournament are set to be played as scheduled, with the exception of the women’s qualifying play-off between South Korea and China, which has been postponed until the June international window.
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Bahrain Grand Prix, 22 March
On Sunday, the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix was confirmed to go ahead on 22 March – but without spectators.
A statement from the organisers said: “In consultation with our international partners and the Kingdom’s national health taskforce, Bahrain has made the decision to hold this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix as a participants-only event.
“As an F1 host nation, balancing the welfare of supporters and race goers is a tremendous responsibility. Given the continued spread of COVID-19 globally, convening a major sporting event which is open to the public and allows thousands of international travellers and local fans to interact in close proximity would not be the right thing to do at the present time.
“But to ensure that neither the sport, nor its global supporter base, is unduly impacted, the race weekend itself will still go ahead as a televised event.”
Source : Sky News